Acting Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 15, 2021
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and congratulations on your election. I would also like to extend condolences to UN colleagues on the passing of Peg Snyder. As a trailblazer in the multilateral system to champion the rights of women, her legacy shines brightly. The United States is committed to supporting the UN Women agenda and to being a strong partner in this forum in the coming years. Women’s rights are human rights. The UN and the international community must redouble our efforts to promote and protect the human rights of all women and girls.
In this collective effort, UN Women’s global leadership is more critical than ever. We face unprecedented challenges around the globe, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the areas of combating violence against women and seeking to fully protect the rights of women and girls belonging to multiple marginalized groups.
On January 28, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum on Protecting Women’s Health at Home and Abroad, which sets out that the U.S. Federal Government “must take action to ensure that women at home and around the world are able to access complete medical information, including with respect to their reproductive health.” This Presidential Memorandum represents part of the Biden administration’s broader commitment to protect women’s health, including but not limited to sexual and reproductive health care and gender equality as well as addressing gender-based violence at home and around the world.
The United States has also re-engaged with the World Health Organization and has pledged to join COVAX. We will work in partnership to ensure the international community can move swiftly to address the current crisis by supporting the multilateral and equitable distribution of safe and effective vaccines, without undermining incentives for innovation, and doing what we can to help address the enormous socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic.
The United States believes we are stronger when we work with our partners and friends through strengthened and revitalized multilateral institutions. In the coming year, the United States commits to revitalized engagement with UN Women and to collaborative partnership with Member States.
Madam Executive Director, we welcome your vision for a “UN Women 2.0”, particularly your focus on impact, partnership, and performance, including a focus on strengthening UN Women’s governance and oversight and advancing organizational leadership and best management practices, including through inclusivity, diversity, training, and talent management.
We welcome UN Women’s focus in the next Strategic Plan on strengthening partnerships with civil society. All stakeholders, particularly civil society, play a critical role in advancing UN women’s priorities and for helping UN Women fulfill its mandate of achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
The United States commends UN Women’s commitment to impact, partnership, and performance and strengthening UN Women’s governance and oversight and advancing organizational leadership and best management practices, including through inclusivity and diversity. We encourage UN Women to use its next Strategic Plan to further efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and sexual abuse and harassment.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that the United States is committed to supporting UN Women and to being a strong partner in this forum in the coming years. We will do all we can to ensure that the future is better and brighter for all of us.